Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

HATAWL 2: The Celebrity Apprentice Cabinet

I think "How a Trump Administration Will Look" is going to be a regular feature at this blog as we see the incoming administration take place, so pardon my awkward title: "HATAWL" is just a necessary acronym so my blog titles don't become too unwieldy. Before I launch into the current going-on, I just wanted to link to this fine recap of all the many ways in which Donald Trump the candidate and his campaign were simply not what we think of a "normal". Keeping this concept of "abnormality" in mind is probably a useful way to understand how his position-filling process is just naturally going to also be "abnormal".

See, after all, the above Tweet (screen-capped on the off-chance that it will be deleted as having been ill-advised--or perhaps better said, "unadvised"). "Very organized process taking place as I decide on Cabinet and many other positions. I am the only one who knows who the finalists are!" it reads, for those whose setting don't enable images, and it is sent from Trump's own verified account. It's hard to know how to take it--is he just responding genuinely to counter claims that this process is "bonkers" or a "total mess".  But does he legitimately see his potential selections for important cabinent roles as "finalists" as if he was still running "The Celebrity Apprentice"? Or is it possible he is having us on, a little? (As for as presidentin' goes, this is probably not good form--not that he has respect for such things.)

But word that there has been an actual "purge" of Trump transition folks with ties to Bridgegate-impacted Gov. Chris Christie does seem awkward--how much of this choice has to do with Trump's own actual distaste over how Christies handled the scandal, and how much has to do with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner's pay-back over Christie's prosecution of his father and uncle? One of the reasons I find this alarming is because someone like former MI Rep. Mike Rogers seemed like a pretty competent guy--the sort of knowledgeable and reasonable sort that even Democratic presidents might consider for something like CIA chief. This kind of decision-making doesn't seem really helpful.

But he is being replaced by Frank Gaffney, former Rep. Pete Hoekstra and CA Rep. Devin Nunes--welp, that's still kind of alarming. Gaffney was banned from CPAC a few years back for having an oddball conspiracy theory that Grover Norquist had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.  (I have questioned Norquist over his economic ideas, but give me a break! Not a closet creeping sharia guy, ok?) Hoekstra totally Chaffetz-ed up regarding some classified info which kind of makes me wonder if he's altogether an s.m.a.r.t. choice. And Nunes? Eh, he fits right in.

But some of the other eyebrow-raising picks? A possible selection of Kris Kobach, anti-immigration and anti-civil rights SOB, for Trump's AG?  Laura Ingraham, radio host and awful person, for press secretaryPeter Thiel for anything. Any damn thing at all. Gay vampires are very cool according to 1990 goth Anne Rice fan me, but this dude is something else.  And as an environmentalist, I am not even ready to talk about Myron Ebell having anything to do with the EPA. He's thinking Sago Mine owner Wilbur Ross for Commerce (huh! I guess Don Blankenship is unavailable, right?) 

It almost feels like a series of threats that wouldn't just challenge a liberal's stomach, but that of many a conservative as well. Maybe a case of showing us the worst scenario so his eventual actual picks don't seem as bad as they could have been? (That's a known negotiating tactic.) 

But I just think it's weird, right? That his cabinet discussions should even make you wonder if this is real life or a game. Maybe that Tweet means something--but I don't think these decisions should be treated like a reality show.

1 comment:

Nasreen Iqbal said...

Oh cool. Now I'll definitely be coming back here.

On the days when I'm up for this kind of stress, I mean.